Vintage Baking: Irish Wheaten Bread

It has become a pleasure to research vintage recipes and to attempt baking them.  I am not the best of bakers but will certainly give it a go.  I do hope you liked my vintage recipe for Pineapple Upside Down Cake and Custard Kisses?

With the Great British Bake Off now on our screens it has spurred me to continue baking and researching a new recipe each week.  Since it is bread week on GBBO I have decided to make a good old Irish favourite – Wheaten Bread.  It is extremely easy and quick to make – no waiting about for it to prove!  It has been a favourite in my family for many years, it can be eaten with butter and jam or with cheese on top to make it a savoury treat.

Wheaten Bread has been a staple of Irish baking for many years, with Irish bakers bypassing yeast and instead using Bicarbonate of Soda which brings us to the other name for Wheaten Bread – Soda Bread.  The reason why Soda Bread was so popular was the fact it could be baked at the open fire.   I’m sure you have seen the pictures of the iron plate resting directly on the fire embers?

Vintage wheaten breadOriginal photo can be found here.

Less of the history lesson please, I hear you say.  So, let’s get down to it, here is my basic Wheaten Bread recipe.


 What you will need:
200g of wholemeal flour

100g of plain flour

400 mls of Butter Milk (if you can’t find butter milk you can sour regular milk with vinegar)

25 g butter

2 teaspoons of Bicarbonate of Soda

2 heaped teaspoons of sugar (as an alternative to the sugar you could use honey or maple syrup)

1 small teaspoon of salt.


Heat oven to 180 C

Grease and flour a round sandwich tin or a loaf tin

In a large bowl mix all the dry ingredients together, then cut the butter in to small pieces and rub the mixture through until it is like breadcrumbs.

Start to add the butter milk, just a small drop at a time, you don’t want a runny mixture but is should be a soft dough.

Knead the mixture lightly, then shape in to a round (if you are using a round sandwich tin) and place in your tin.

Cut a deep cross on top of the bread.

Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes.

I highly recommend you sit down and relax with your wheaten covered in butter and jam and a lovely cup of tea, if you like the vintage tea cup and vintage plate featured here, go on over and visit my etsy shop where you will find more lovely vintage tea cups and vintage tea cup trios.  Perfect for treating yourself!


Elf x


My latest Vintage Find: 1950 recipe tin

There are some vintage items I come across that I can’t seem to part with.  This cute little 1950s recipe tin is one of them.  I mean just look at it – it is so cute!  Made of tin, it has some dishes on it that I wouldn’t know how to describe they just look so awful but that’s the charm for me.  Surprisingly,  inside there is a recipe for home-grown children – have a look at the photo to read the full description.

1950 vintage recipe tin

1950 recipe tin 1950 recipe tin

With this latest vintage find I decided to research what food families made in the 1950s.  I was surprised to learn that rationing continued in the early 1950s.  Sugar, butter, cheese, margarine, cooking fat, bacon, meat and tea all still on the ration books which didn’t actually finish until 1954.

It is of no surprise then that the meagre choice of ingredients limited what could be made and how dishes tasted.  Of course on a positive note, all ingredients used were seasonal, fresh and local.  I have a confession to make, while the 1950s was the age of spam, spam has won a place in my heart!  Why not give Spam another go? Have a look at my recipe here for Spanish Omelette – I can highly recommend it.

The staple diet for many families in this period was of course meat and two veg.  Families didn’t eat out that often.  However, things started to change around 1954 with the American influence and the first Wimpy burger fast food outlets opened.

I don’t know about you but there are days when all I want to eat is simple home-made food, the meat and two veg seems like the perfect option.  I do love to cook but maybe that’s because I don’t have to do it all the time but I do feel there is something satisfying about creating a delicious meal with simple ingredients, a no fuss meal just plain home cooking.

There is a good argument to be made that meal times should be family time, I do agree with this and it is the simple cooking and sitting down to a home-made meal that is enjoyable for me.

I would love to know what you do at family meal times?  Also, let me know what your favourite vintage recipe is or if you have decided to give Spam a go!







So who’s brave enough to give Spam another go?

Spam came in to our world in 1941, made from chopped pork and ham; it was a firm favourite of many families after the Second World War. It continued to dominate dinner plates in the 60s especially in fritter form!

Out of fashion for many years, it did get a sort of come back in the 1990s.  Today it is still used widely so I decided to give it a go…

This is the recipe I tried:

Spanish Omelette with Spam

Ingredients: can of Spam cut in cubes, cooked potatoes (I used 4 large ones), diced green pepper, chopped onion, crushed garlic clove, 5 large eggs beaten with some milk and pepper.

Method:  in a large frying pan heat some oil, stir in the onion and garlic and sauté until brown, and then add the peppers until soft.  Throw in the cooked potatoes, chopped Spam (I also added in some spinach at this point), add the eggs.  Turn up the heat and move the ingredients about for a bit until the eggs are starting to set.  At this point spread the mixture evenly around the pan.  The eggs should bind everything together.

To finish off I topped with some cheese and put under the grill for a minute or so.

To view a vast arrange of vintage recipes give the BBC a go here.

Are you ready to take the Spam challenge?  Let me know how you get on!

If you would like some other ideas for vintage recipes why not try this cute little book: